A slew of the big names are headed this way. Alicia Keys (pictured) at the St. Pete Times Forum on May 24. Sheryl Crow at Ruth Eckerd Hall on April 29. The Boss. Petty. Kanye. Radiohead. They've all announced dates around Tampa Bay. But which ones are priorities?
Top 10: Upcoming shows (Feb. 28-July 30, 2008)
1. Radiohead at Ford Amphitheatre on May 6: Been far too long time since the world's top art rockers have performed 'round here.
2. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band at St. Pete Times Forum on April 21: Memories of seeing him at Jazz Fest still give me chills. Plus, he's touring behind his strongest album in years.
3. Kanye West at Ford Amphitheatre on May 5: His gripping performance at the Grammys completely sold me.
4. Alicia Keys at St. Pete Times Forum on May 24: Her MTV Unplugged performance from '05 completely sold me. Dig her new album, too.
5. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at St. Pete Times Forum on July 16: Somehow I've managed to go my whole life without ever seeing Petty. This needs to change.
6. WMNFâs Tropical Heatwave w/Sonny Landreth/Del Castillo/Soul Rebels/Scissors for Lefty (others) at the Cuban Club on May 17: The best annual fest in the area. Tex Mex masters Del Castillo impressed me last year when they played the Orpheum, Landreth's one of the best guitarists alive and the Soul Rebels' blend of Big Easy brass and hip-hop have made them one of my New Orleans faves ever since seeing them play until sunrise one night at Le Bon Temps Roule.
7-8. They Might Be Giants at Jannus Landing on March 11; Ani DiFranco at Tampa Theatre on March 11: This is a tough one. I'll probably go with DiFranco since she did such a fine job of thoroughly charming me during our recent interview, which will run in the Creative Loafing that hits newsstands March 6.
9. Caribou at Crowbar on April 6: Interviewed Caribou's Dan Snaith last year but missed the electronica-pop whiz's show. Not gonna let it slip by this time.
10. The Roots at Jannus Landing on March 9: The best rap band around. Another act I've been meaning to see for a long time.